Sunday, July 12, 2009


A new-to-me recliner adorns a place of honor in a corner of our guest room. As I walk by in the hall I look up with a smile and see not only the chair but in my mind I also envision the happy giver, a longtime friend who first owned and took many hours of pleasure and comfort from that chair. Having recently replaced it with a newer model and because she loves us she offered it to members of our family.
After the chair was brought to our home and carefully positioned in place, I took pictures to e-mail so my friend could immediately see how it looked in its new home. I expressed my happiness but also my growing concerns that I now expected guests would either spend all their time in the guest room sitting in the chair when they came to visit or like guests do with hotel towels, might just decide to take the chair with them when they leave!
We continued our e-message chatter off and on for a while when my friend once again mentioned a tear in the arm of the recliner. I explained that I had yet to observe a tear commenting I thought I had recently written to her about “keeping what is worth keeping…and with a breath of kindness blowing the rest away…” I went on to express my meaning to be that with the chair I would see what is worth seeing and ignore the rest because at that point I had not seen any tears on the arm of the chair and I wasn’t planning to go searching for such.
I suppose one could say I am not being realistic with my attitude. I think I am being very realistic. I know there is a tear in the arm of that chair. How do I know? Because I have seen it? No. I know because my friend has told me so, but I have chosen to ignore it because I prefer to see the rest of the chair in its beauty, not the little tear. Does the tear in any way hinder its usefulness? No. Does the tear harm its beauty? I’d guess not since it is not an obvious flaw in the fabric.
Let’s take this just a step further and compare this with our attitude in the way we treat people. Sometimes we know a person well enough to know “there is a small tear in the fabric,” so to speak. What are we going to do about it? Are we going to keep staring at the “sore spot” using unkind words and/or deeds until we make the hole bigger? Will we diminish the usefulness of another simply because they do not measure up to our yardstick of perfection?
An occasion that lives on in our lives occurred many years before my husband was born so certainly long before I came into the family. His maternal grandmother known to most as Nana seemed pretty close to perfect in so many ways but apparently she was human on occasion! In her younger days, Nana, as the wife of a minister and the mother of four young daughters, complained to her husband, “Why am I, with all these young ones always expected to be the one to peel and cook the potatoes for the Sunday dinners for all these people?” Now, Nana was not one given to much complaining, and when she later told the story about herself in a lesson to the family she said that Grampie laid his hand on her shoulder and said, “You gotta love ‘em, Momma.”
Today, two days after the delivery of the recliner, I have chosen to overlook the tear. I will take the word of my friend that there is one there, but I choose to not see it because to me the chair is as Mary Poppins would say, “practically perfect in every way.”

“Above all, love each other deeply,
because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
I Peter 4:8 (NIV)

© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 7-12-09

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